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Community News

Proposed Metcalf Energy Center Data Adequacy Hearing -- June 23, 1999

by Elizabeth Cord - Santa Teresa Citizen Action Group

Members of the Santa Teresa Citizen Action Group attended the California Energy Commission hearing in Sacramento this morning (June 23, 1999). After finding the Calpine application "Data Inadequate" earlier this month, (i.e., not containing enough data to be eligible for review by the CEC), the Commission today heard the CEC staff report regarding the supplemental data submitted by Calpine in response to the initial finding by the Commission staff of Data Inadequacy.

Elizabeth Cord addressed the Commission with neighborhood concerns about the adequacy of the data presented in the applicant's proposal. The lack of perceived in-depth review of the purported "Alternate Sites" was mentioned as a possible source of inadequacy; other issues raised include the proposed construction traffic path from Santa Teresa Blvd. across the proposed Cisco property; the applicant's proposal to utilize ground water from the Coyote Basin, although no well-drilling application appears to be in evidence; the air quality modeling which only addresses a person at ground level, failing to test for the Cisco campus proposed for an adjacent parcel, which could include workers in buildings at elevations of up to 120'; the bacteria count of the recycled water which would "drift" over the neighborhood, as well as the components of the waste water which would be discarded by the proposed facility. Although the Commission voted 5-0 in finding Data Adequacy, neighborhood concerns have been entered into the record for this project.

What this means is that the California Energy Commission has now deemed Calpine's Application for Certification (AFC) to contain enough data to be eligible for review by CEC staff. Today's ruling accepts Calpine's supplemental data, submitted after the original ruling of Data Inadequacy which was made by the CEC earlier this month. A copy of the AFC is available for public review at the Santa Teresa Library.

Scott Scholz and Elizabeth Cord also addressed the Commission concerning the Sutter Power Plant project approved for Sutter County when it was discovered that there were several parallels between the projects; namely, a perceived lack of thorough analysis of alternate sites, as well as a perceived lack of consideration of neighbor concerns. The applicant in the Sutter case is also Calpine.

As the AFC is now being reviewed by CEC staff, members of the community have an opportunity to file as "Intervenors" on this project. Please contact the Public Advisor for the CEC, Ms. Roberta Mendonca, to ask about Intervenor status. Call her at (800) 822-6228; or email PAO@energy.state.ca.us.

Basically, Intervenor status gives you the right to be copied on all correspondence relating to the project; you will have the right to ask questions of the applicant or others at CEC hearings, and you may enter testimony at hearings. Intervenors each also receive their own copy of the applicant's AFC.

Two recent CEC cases reviewed by the Santa Teresa Citizen Action Group each had under 10 Interveners. The Metcalf Energy Center Project already has 49 listed intervenors, not including members of the neighborhood who filed for intervenor status today.

The first CEC public workshop for the Metcalf Energy Center will be held on Monday, July 12 here in San Jose. Plan now to attend; details will follow. Tentative schedule calls for an afternoon workshop, 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; break for a site visit to the proposed Metcalf Energy Center site; followed by an evening meeting. To be placed on the email list to be notified of events concerning the Metcalf Energy Center proposal review, email Ms. Roberta Mendonca in the Public Advisor's Office of the CEC, PAO@energy.state.ca.us.

The Santa Teresa Citizen Action Group intends to follow the progress of events at the CEC and will keep neighbors informed via this website, as well as through future Community Meetings. Please contact us at STAction@aol.com if you have any questions or concerns, or if you would like to assist the STCAG in our opposition to the proposed location for the Metcalf Energy Center.

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